Goner Message Board
 | Forums | Register | Reply | Search | Statistics | Manual |
Goner Message Board / Memphis / What (if anything) can local government do to improve the local arts scene?
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 10:32 pm
 
What do you want to see happen with the local City/County funded programs?

I think health insurance has been addressed.

Personally, I'd like to know where I can go to look at where the money is going?
No matter how much or how little...and see what kind of ideas are on the table to bring more revenue to everyone involved with the arts.
If it is a music commission, then let's focus on what they are doing to benefit labels, studios, songwriters,musicians etc...and what the aforementioned can do to help make any ideas become a reality.

This is a fact finding mission only.

Thanks to Goner for providing this forum...and they had nothing to do with starting any of this...it all started with a short conversation I had with Chris Reyes at the Memphis Pops fest.

GO
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 10:41 pm
 
What (if anything) can local government do?


They could start by publicly hanging themselves!


HAWW!
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 10:51 pm
 
I just need one guitar string. And a pick.
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:19 pm
 
1) Pay PA dude/dudette
2) Twist arm of local commercial radio stations to add more local to their regular rotation
3) Bring Iron Maiden to town
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:29 pm
 
There are open music commissions meeting every month. As they go over the minutes - you can hear a pretty detailed account of where they are spending the money - and it is not a lot.

The music commission just appointed a new chairman whose name escapes me - but he is a music producer and he has worked with some super big name people. In these type of appointments this is always the name of the game.

Dean Deyo is the head of the Music Foundation and I have had several meetings with him and they have a lot of good ideas about moving forward too. However, unless you're involved, it is stuff that you would easily miss and think nothing is going on - stuff like working with the Bar-kays and gospel choirs and school music programs - I can't remember all the details.

Here is how I have made the foundation be a useful to me - I have taken detailed proposals in front of the commission and asked for a specific monetary amounts in order to bring to fruition my ideas.

Now, the foundation has funded me - not the commission, not that I don't think the commission would not have - but it was going to take so long to get the right amount of people to vote to be able to make a decision that the foundation was able to make a decision much more quickly.

The meeting at MO's is the Musician's Advisory Council - led now by Billy Gibbons who is a new commissioner and super passionate and ready for the task of making things happen - he is the one who started the Memphis Music Commission's Myspace -

(which irony of ironies is where you are taken now when you go to http://www.memphismusic.org/ )

Anyway, if you are a musician and you have concerns or - IDEAS! then getting together with Billy is a great idea as he can act as an advocate for you!!

OK, so back in March I went in and cleaned up the forums on the old music commission website and worked with Billy to get things back up and running and he proposed that they hire someone to become webmaster of the site and make it worth having around - but I think because things were so up in the air about 2shay - the site was not at the top of their list.

Now that a new chairman/president is in place this situation should and could be brought back to the table.

If the LFM site is what you want money spent on - then put together a group of people on behalf of the idea - come up with a reasonable amount of money to have it maintained and take the proposition to the commission.
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:44 pm
 
Decriminalize marijuana.
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:48 pm
 
Kill the poor.
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:53 pm
 
The music commission just appointed a new chairman whose name escapes me - but he is a music producer and he has worked with some super big name people. In these type of appointments this is always the name of the game

Ralph Sutton:
http://www.livefrommemphis.com/memdir/profile?directoryProfileID=1228

Dean Deyo:
http://www.livefrommemphis.com/memdir/profile?directoryProfileID=1503
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:56 pm
 
Sweet jesus, ninjacat! What took you so long?
Posted: Aug 20, 2007 11:58 pm
 
and i guess the point is -

IF I HAD ONLY USED LFM!!!!!

Nice
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 12:37 am | Edited by: indiepop
 
hire an overpriced consultant so you can justify not having the resources to pay for whatever they recommend
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 1:04 am
 
IF I HAD ONLY USED LFM!!!!!


No one in this thread brought up LFM until you did.
Please take that shit to the other thread.
I'm trying to find out something here.
I ask you kindly...
If you have a burr up your arse about LFM,
Keep it out of this thread.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 2:24 am
 
IF I HAD ONLY USED LFM!!!!!


dude! I meant that in the friendliest way ever!

My whole mission has been to try and find a way to make it work!!

I'm the only one here giving you any useful information...

We have already had the private convo about things coming off the wrong way on the internet - right?
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 2:27 am
 
I'm the only one here giving you any useful information...
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 2:59 am
 
except for jack's call for iron maiden

my bad, yo!
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 3:21 am
 
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 3:58 am
 
Oh, I suppose I must apologize for my thread jacking, albeit, one line only. It's just that I can't stand the Rach. I have absolutely zero respect for any of the drivel she pedals around here. She constantly pops in to bait us with whatever bullshit she's currently blogging about or plans to blog about. BLOGTASTIC! The sad thing is, while, on one hand, she's asking what you truly, truly think, the other hand is quick to bleat that she doesn't give a shit what you think and that you most obviously are missing the point since you don't subscribe to her's. By definition, she should be bestowed my moniker. In fact, I think I must email you, Rach, right away and give you my password. Oh, you can have the last word in this thread too, since I already feel badly for not obliging Golightly. Cheers! xxoo
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 4:10 am
 
Last year at Gonerfest III, The Troll was one of my "Hi, My Name Is..." tags.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 4:40 am
 
Here is how I have made the foundation be a useful to me - I have taken detailed proposals in front of the commission and asked for a specific monetary amounts in order to bring to fruition my ideas.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 4:57 am
 
If a gov. entity is throwing money around I would hope some would go to school music education programs. Local music types could participate via workshops, panels etc.

other than that, (even though I'd love some insurance) any gov/bureaucratic music commission thing would just cater to the same ole self serving interests and generally fuck up/ convolute the arts/music scene.

Doesn't NARAS offer some kind of assistance to musicians? and, what would the criteria be to be considered a Memphis Musician?
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 2:38 pm
 
3) Bring Iron Maiden to town

Hey Jack, Maiden is confirmed for Wacken '08. Wanna go?

Sorry to interrupt. Y'all get back to saving the scene...
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 6:16 pm
 
I looked up Wacken. That shit's in Germany. I figured it'd be outside of Hoboken, or something.
New Intruders/STAAGS Euro Tour '08?
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 6:42 pm
 
I looked up Wacken. That shit's in Germany. I figured it'd be outside of Hoboken, or something.

No, that's what they're DOING in Hoboken.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 6:57 pm
 
and the cool down period begins...
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 7:03 pm
 
Another problem I have and it involves art cross pollenization (for lack of a better word)
I get a call from a local arts group...I won't say which one...they want a band to play at a function coming up...BUT...that can't pay...AND they don't want original music...they want a band who can play all kinds of popular music (read radio) that people can dance to.

I hung up and thought...I wonder if the caterer is doing this for free...are the tent people doing this for free...etc etc etc?



I hear the 'Just think of the exposure"....exposure does not pay the MLGW bill.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 7:06 pm
 
I hung up and thought...I wonder if the caterer is doing this for free...are the tent people doing this for free...etc etc etc?

Precisely.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 7:21 pm
 
I hung up and thought...I wonder if the caterer is doing this for free...are the tent people doing this for free...etc etc etc?

that's the point I was trying to make with my post on the other thread on this topic -- I can't count the number of times I've gotten calls for someone wanting me to write liner notes or press material on a band I've never gone to see (usually Beale Street blues acts). they don't want to pony up ANY money. they'll pay the studio engineer, the CD pressing plant, the sound man at the shows, but then they snap their wallets shut. I don't care if they don't use me -- and 99 percent of the time, those touristy, souvenir-type CDs don't need liner notes anyways. but why do people call and inquire about rates and then admit they want you to go out of your way and do it for free?

again, IF I like a project, are friends with the people behind it, or admire them, or whatever, it's another story entirely.

good for you, golightly.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 7:24 pm
 
more thoughts on this: 3 or so years ago, I was working on an episode of a travel show called 3 Day Weekend for Turner South. we were filming at Silky O'Sullivan's on Beale. I had to get all the musicians to sign a blanket release form, and without batting an eye, the manager told me "if they won't sign it, I'll fire 'em, coz we have musicians begging us for slots all the time. THEY are the lucky ones, because people don't care what they hear when they're down here partying."

I know it's Beale Street, but it was pretty depressing to hear.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 10:06 pm
 
First off, Golightly, I wonder which "local arts group" called you? Let me guess, primarily helmed by clueless double-wide-baby-stroller-pushing or retired yuppies that throw "supporting the arts" parties so they can attach some sort of "culture" to their otherwise boring lives? So they can rub shoulders with actual artists? Guess what? They don't tip either.

.....and while we're on that, will someone please tell David Lusk to lose the knee-length linen button downs and holier-than-thou attitude?

And most of the art present at these things, well, it belongs in the lobby of a fucking Best Western.

That leads me to another problem that hovers around these two threads, yet doesn't 100% apply to some of the thoughts.

What we're seeing here, with certain folks, is a blind support of music/art/whatever simply because IT IS FROM MEMPHIS. Just what any town needs: To be choked with unremarkable garbage due to a lot of "good job!!!" glad-handing because you're friends with the band or they do a great job touring the nation.

Who gives a fuck if they bust their asses on tour, draw a lot, sell a lot of CD's. If the music is doesn't stand out (translated: SUCKS HORSE DICK), it doesn't deserve support, as it doesn't need to become Memphis' calling card.

Of course, that's all a matter of taste. I have the best in the city, so no worries there.

On the other side of the coin, it helps when artists and musicians cross the city limits and make a name for themselves nationally or worldwide....if Memphis finally wants to take notice at some point and offer support, let it.

A provincial attitude is incredibly detrimental. Your limited knowledge of music and poor taste will trick you into believing that some Memphis bands are unique, when there are thousands of examples of the same thing the country over.

Craig Brewer is pretty dead-on with that bucket-of-crabs line, though I cannot get behind Black Snake Moan as something indicative of Memphis/The South.
Posted: Aug 21, 2007 10:27 pm
 
^ What he said ...

I happen to think Craig Brewer is a shining example of "it's from Memphis, so let's ignore the fact that it's hokie crap!"
Posted: Aug 22, 2007 5:43 pm
 
First off, Golightly, I wonder which "local arts group" called you? Let me guess, primarily helmed by clueless double-wide-baby-stroller-pushing or retired yuppies that throw "supporting the arts" parties so they can attach some sort of "culture" to their otherwise boring lives? So they can rub shoulders with actual artists? Guess what? They don't tip either.

rsvp "magazine"?
Posted: Aug 22, 2007 6:30 pm
 
"if they won't sign it, I'll fire 'em, coz we have musicians begging us for slots all the time. THEY are the lucky ones, because people don't care what they hear when they're down here partying."

I know it's Beale Street, but it was pretty depressing to hear.


Sadly, that is exactly the situation. For every guy playing Beale four hours a night for a hundred bucks, there's another 20 guys willing to do it for half that, and another 10 willing to do it for tips, and a couple dudes who will do it for a beer and a sandwich.
Posted: Aug 22, 2007 7:56 pm
 
beer and a sandwich.


mmmmmmmmmmmm, beer and a sandwich
Posted: Aug 22, 2007 10:53 pm
 
Ergo, Memphis music is a commodity. Really, all music is a commodity now, since you don't really have to pay for recordings, you dn't have to pay artists jack (esp. since the union is pretty much defunct in a lot of settings), anyone can make it, and everyone thinks they should be listening to it because they have a shiny new iPod.

And when you live in a community a vast majority of whic is uneducated, uncultured and proud of it, who's to say anyone should or will get paid?
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 12:33 am
 
And when you live in a community a vast majority of whic is uneducated, uncultured and proud of it,

Smile when you say that....
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 12:50 am
 
:-D

Always!

I'm not trying to be negative nelly, necessarily, just pointing out the limitations of the market, which shouldn't be a surprise to many people on this thread ...
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 12:58 am
 
Your limited knowledge of music and poor taste will trick you into believing that some Memphis bands are unique, when there are thousands of examples of the same thing the country over.

One of the greatest things I've ever read on the Goner board. This is true beyond measure.
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 3:35 am
 
So, now that we've established that Memphis music is not unique and probably actually sucks and that nobody should support anybody because they all suck and what do we know anyway, we've got rotten taste, what can local government do to improve the arts scene, since it obviously needs improvement?

First of all, and more important than anything, make sure there's good music and art instruction in the public schools.

The city should make it attractive for artists to live here. It's already cheap to live here, mostly because no one wants to live here. This is usually good for artist types, who tend to be either very poor or very rich. The fashionable way for governments to encourage businesses to locate in a city is tax breaks. If you want to encourage musicians to live here, why not waive sales tax on musical instruments bought within the city limits? As part of their downtown revitalization project, Knoxville renovated an old building and made very cheap studio space available. Why not do something similar here, and include band practice space, too? Didn't there used to be a concert series in Court Square? Bring that back, and make sure it pays the bands. Have weekly shows in the Overton Park Shell and other parks around town. And we should have three times as many local acts at the Beale Street Music Festival. None of this sounds very expensive to me, in the big picture of city funding.

Since the problem cited in the study on Smart City Memphis study was that we had practically no music industry, the city should offer the same kinds of economic incentives they would offer, say, the worst professional basketball team in the Western Hemisphere. Since the music industry is currently pretty broken, I don't really know how to do that and make it work. But my guess is that labels will be smaller and cater to more and more specific niches. And, of course, promote themselves on the internet. This also has the advantage of promoting entrepreneurship and all that other free market claptrap that opens the public purse like a prostitute's pubis. Maybe FedEx could be convinced, with the help of city, to offer free or greatly-discounted shipping to record labels and distributors. It would actually be pretty good PR for FedEx if hip young people got FedEx packages full of music.

And decriminalize marijuana.
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 3:39 am
 
Your limited knowledge of music and poor taste will trick you into believing that some Memphis bands are unique, when there are thousands of examples of the same thing the country over.

One of the greatest things I've ever read on the Goner board. This is true beyond measure.



I know! You keep bringing that band from Nashville that sounds like Freeword! Proof!
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 4:00 am
 
public purse like a prostitute's pubis

!!!!!!
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 4:07 am
 

mmmmmmmmmmmm, beer and a sandwich


True story: when I first moved to Memphis a couple years ago, I got some work playing guitar on Beale for a while (and before you Midtowners turn up your nose, let me just say that playing Beale can be a GREAT learning experience for any musician, on a lot of different levels).

Anyhoo, one afternoon I was playing with a group in Handy Park, and when it was break time, I went to the bar to get a burger in a to-go box. I went back up to the stage with it and realized I'd forgotten my drink, so I sat the box on my amp and went back to the bar. 60 seconds later, I went back over to my amp to get my burger.

It was gone. (The burger, not the amp, thank God).

No point to that story really. Carry on.
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 5:02 am
 
Whatever you want to see done in the arts program. It is essential to your political success that you do more than take your plan to one of the commissions (and there are more than a few). You should take it to those groups, but also take it to your County Commissioner and your City Council member. If one turns a deaf ear go to the next one on the list. Come to think of it, go to all 13 on each body. They confirm those who are appointed to the commissions. This is clout. These commissions pay much more attention and move things much quicker when you walk into a meeting with one or several of these guys in tow. There is no rule that says you must work from the commission up unless you just like going to meetings where nothing of yours ever advances. If they want accountability that's fine. It is government money. But your success in these kind of endeavors is not measured by how many meetings you go to.

As for the gig problems, I even heard Rufus Thomas complain about exactly the same thing years ago. This is where the Music Commission can be an advocate. The commission could go to the arts groups and have them use the commission as their finder of talent. It could also impress upon the arts groups many of the points made on this thread about how important it is for those in the other arts to support local musicians and that means more than exposure. It means a paid gig. This is exactly the kind of advocacy that the Music Commission doesn't need a grant to pursue. It can do this with networking and reinforcing the idea until it's as established as paying artists to design posters for festivals etc.

That's my two cents... well maybe three.
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 6:59 am
 
let me just say that playing Beale can be a GREAT learning experience for any musician, on a lot of different levels).

I agree, actually. Did sound for a summer at Silky's patio with the Memphis Knights. Best and worst of me, that summer. Anyway, those dudes were pros from way back. I wish. I WISH I could remember all of their names. But one time one of the tourists in the crowd yelled "Sweet Home Alabama". They looked at me, like, "Do you know it?"
Ashamed, I said yes. I played the guitar on a Beale Street session of "Sweet Home Alabama". Sue me. Otherwise, watching those dudes work it for weekends was one of my better Memphis Soul Education sessions.
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 1:23 pm
 
I played the guitar on a Beale Street session of "Sweet Home Alabama". Sue me.

You gotta give the people what they want!
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 8:52 pm
 
The city should make it attractive for artists to live here.
I agree with this very strongly. I think this is the most important thing that our local government can do for the arts, to find ways to bring the creative class here and make it their home. The "Memphis by Default" way of encouraging creative stimulus only goes so far.
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 11:41 pm
 
find ways to bring the creative class here and make it their home

OK, now we're onto something. What would make -- or already does make -- Memphis attractive to artists/creative types/people who choose fonts for a living?

WHAT WE GOT

1. Low cost of living

WHAT WE NEED

????
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 12:59 am
 
WHAT WE NEED

- better funding for arts education in the schools
- more employment opportunities for people in the arts
- co-op/specialized housing dedicated to and earmarked for people with lower income jobs in the arts
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:25 am
 
- co-op/specialized housing dedicated to and earmarked for people with lower income jobs in the arts

how is this differant from housing projects for lower income people?

everything else on your list is for the common people, why would they need seperate housing for the artists?
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:28 am | Edited by: indiepop
 
everything else on your list is for the common people, why would they need seperate housing for the artists?

i'm just talking about incentives that have been used by other metropolitan cities to strengthen their creative class, none of this is solid gold. just suggestions based on what's been said to work.

in new york and in seattle, two cities in which i've lived, there are specific co-ops or low-cost housing for people who are working in the arts in those cities. i know this aint seattle or new york, but it's a thought.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:33 am
 
Maybe you guys should start bussing in some 'artists'. Worked for education!


HEE=HAWW!
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:38 am | Edited by: indiepop
 
for the sake of being totally clear, when i say "people who are working in the arts" i dont mean just artists. i mean anyone who works in an arts profession -- stage hands, set designers, crew people, scenics, stage techs, anything like that. there's a lot of "arts professions" out there that don't make the person an artist. but without them, it's hard to get anything done.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:41 am
 
They could be bussed in as well....no biggie...
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:43 am
 
They could be bussed in as well....no biggie...

laidlaw
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:49 am
 
This is all I will get into regarding the easy Richard Florida "Creative Class" angle of local governments throwing lots of attention and money at one segment of a local society. I think some of it is certainly intriguing, but it is extraordinarily short-sighted and, um, elitist. Artists of any stripe can exist anywhere without local governments subsidizing their housing, jobs et al. Not to mention, Seattle's "artists" can barely afford to live there now that they have made it all appealing and what happened? They started moving down to Portland and the same thing is now happening there. Maybe that isn't the argument here, but it is starting to feel like it is going in that direction.

Here is a little something I located on the internets:

Malanga also argued that Florida's focus on 'new economy' workers at the expense of workers in the service sector and the traditional working classes, lays the foundation for what he called a "new form of class warfare." Similarly. Anthony O'Donnell recently raised a similar criticism of Florida in an opinion piece in The Age newspaper.O'Donnell noted that the growth in the so-called Creative Class occupations has been overshadowed by an even greater growth in Service Class occupations - both coming at the expense of those working class jobs such as trades, labouring and manufacturing. O'Donnell asked whether or not these two trends are causally-linked:

After all, looking around at the Creative Class, the question should surely arise: Who looks after their kids, cares for their ageing parents, cleans their houses and offices, and serves in the kitchens of their favourite inner city bars?

The need for a service-based underclass - a poorly-paid, non-unionised workforce doing the jobs that members of the Creative Class don't want to do is something that Florida did acknowledge as a serious challenge. As Florida noted:

Affluent Creative Class people who move into racially, ethnically or economically diverse neighbourhoods cannot simply assume that their presence automatically revitalises these places. For many working class and service class residents, it doesn't. Instead, all it does is raise their rents and perhaps create more low-end service jobs for waiters, housecleaners and the like.15
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 1:56 am
 
Uh...EXCUSE ME?

HELLO!

I don't recall anyone asking the only person here in Gooner Land that is remotely qualified in such areas as 'artistic placement' and determining what (if any) monies should go to them.

I propose this. (pepe get your pen and pad ready!)

1. Dig up ELVIS. Make him presentable and put his body in a glass case for everyone to see DOWNTOWN so nobody has to go to that god-awful area of town to get themselve some love me tender shampoo or whatever they call it...Thats really the only reason to go there anyway but still.....

2. Charge money to see his body. Take the money you earn from that and build your hippie utopia artist compound/camp or whatever you call it...
I know this is getting complicated so your going to need to concentrate.....on your hippie artist camp.....





wait...



I'VE GOT IT!

It's an ELVIS CONCENTRATION CAMP!

Perfect! Now you can live in piece in your concentration camp making all the 'art' you want.

ANOTHER PROBLEM SOLVED BY SJP!

In the meantime...

BUY MY PERFUME!!!
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 3:25 am
 
more employment opportunities for people in the arts


correct me if i am wrong, but i think the city schools just opted to hire like, a hundred art teachers. i could be wrong on my numbers though.


for the sake of being totally clear, when i say "people who are working in the arts" i dont mean just artists. i mean anyone who works in an arts profession -- stage hands, set designers, crew people, scenics, stage techs, anything like that. there's a lot of "arts professions" out there that don't make the person an artist. but without them, it's hard to get anything done.

Amen bro.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 5:59 am
 
"- more employment opportunities for people in the arts"

--getting a decent job in the arts, or making money from of any sort of art involves creating your own opportunities or being competitive and shrewd about existing opportunities.

Face it, our local gov't is constantly short of funds because of mis-management. We're all very familiar with this. We can't even regularly teach kids to read by jr. high. Our h.s. grads are largely are unaware of our government's most basic structure or history. Central Ave. hasn't been paved in 15 years. Our cops are overworked, underpaid, and pissed off. City services are a joke. Our utility "company" is a sham (and a very profitable one). Our public transportation is pathetic. The docks are still run by mobsters. Was uptown developed (with subsidies) because it was awesome, or was it because downtown is a perpetual rape-o-rama? The only industries that thrive here are here by a coincidence of geography: this is where the railroads meet the big river. Everyone else is on their own. If you need funds or support to realize your project, the government is the worst place to look. Despite all the negative things about this city, there are lots of people and smaller companies (not all of them rich) who will go out of their way to support a huge variety of artistic endeavors.

Additional goverment money or incentives (subsidies) for art just means more bad art. Is that something we're really short of? Everyone in Memphis seems to have some creative angle. I think we might have more guitar players than Nashville. We have no shortage of a creative class, they just happen to be as lazy and beaten down as everyone else in this river-stinking sauna that we all love. The cream rises to the top when the milk is exposed to pressure or heat.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 3:45 pm | Edited by: Will
 
our local gov't is constantly short of funds because of mis-management.

that, and the fact that we have an inordinately large population living below the poverty line who are unable to contribute to the tax base. For example Nashville and Memphis are roughly equal in population, but they have significantly more home-owners and higher property values, etc.

This is something I don't see being remedied any time soon, or at all. And I certainly don't want to come across as necessarily knocking it, it's part of what makes Memphis interesting (or add whatever gay descriptors you want, like "fabric" or "soulful" etc). I will say it can be rather dismaying to ride through midtown and see the multitude of homes for sale with "new" or "reduced" price tacked on to the sales sign. Yeah, yeah I know the real estate market's rough all over, but damn.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 3:54 pm
 
And I'll echo what was said up-thread about one of our biggest draws being the low cost of living. Hell, it's probably why I've stayed so long. That and the unique social fabric that makes Memphis one of the most singularly important cultural bedrocks in history. </gay>
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 4:18 pm
 
The cream rises to the top and still doesn't get paid. That's the problem.

The problem I have with the "creative class" theory is that it's essentially a stopgap measure. Manufacturing jobs, which used to be the underpinning of the whole economy, are gone largely because of the high costs to business of providing healthcare to their labor force. Universal, single-payer healthcare (or some variation that does not include giving the health insurance companies a vig) would be the best possible thing you could do for all sorts of job creation, not just art jobs. I guess the theory behind promoting the "creative class" is that manufacturing takes raw materials and, through labor, adds value to them. That's one of two ways wealth is created. The other way is to loan money for interest, like the banks and mortgage companies do. But that method can only go so far, as anyone who has been following the news about the subprime mortgage industry meltdown knows. So, who else besides manufacturing creates thing that add value and create wealth? Creative people. So, the thinking goes, cities need the creative class to make up for those manufacturing jobs that have been lost. But my problem with both that and the branch of New Urbanism that wants to turn every town into a tourist attraction is, where does it lead to? A whole society of people painting, sculpting and making music and shuffing their monies back and forth? Inhabitants of different tourist towns visiting each other? Granted, that sounds like utopia to me and I'd love to live in such a society, but it's not realistic in the long run, and the bankers will end up owning everybody, anyway. And there just won't be enough creative people to make up for the manufacturing jobs, ever.

The other strain of thinking in building the creative class is: "We don't know what the hell to do, so let's make our city attractive to creative people and they'll come up with something creative to save our bacon."

joel, most of the things you said are true. The schools, the infrastructure, public safety and utilities are all more important functions of government than supporting the arts. But why is it OK for the city to hand out money by the shovelfull to all kinds of industries--real estate, sports, chemicals, transportation--but not us? Why are small businesses, many of which go under soon after they were founded, worthy of tax breaks and government grants but the creative community--from which Elvis Presley, one of the city's great cash cows, arose--isn't? Sure, one in a million people are going to be Elvis, but the more creative people you have in any given city the higher the odds are that one of them actually turn out to be Elvis. And once again, the amount of money we're actually talking about is not much, in the big picture.

And you're right, the problem is not so much money as it is mismanagement. The solution to that is at the ballot box and through community involvement. And that's what we're trying to do here. The city is going to spend money--a little bit of money, but some money--on the arts. For example, whether we think there should be a music commission or not, there is one and it's spending money. If we don't think they're spending their money the right way (and I don't), then it's up to us to propose alternatives.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 4:56 pm
 
Hey

do you think we can get some local government types to come to a show and buy a CD?
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 5:07 pm
 
I think we might have more guitar players than Nashville. We have no shortage of a creative class, they just happen to be as lazy and beaten down as everyone else in this river-stinking sauna that we all love.

I like Memphis in part BECAUSE of the laziness and beat-down aspects (to a point). It is way cooler than the mercenary culture of Nashville, which I had my fill of.

Sometimes I think that if you fixed all the things that are wrong with Memphis, you might ruin the things that are right about it.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 5:33 pm
 
I'd also like to add that musicians and art types are attracted to sno-cones. Especially with whiskey added.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 5:34 pm
 
"creative class"

Y'all keep using this term. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 6:28 pm
 
Sometimes I think that if you fixed all the things that are wrong with Memphis, you might ruin the things that are right about it.

You may have hit the nail on the head JP...in the back of my mind I've thought the same thing.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 6:51 pm
 
wikipedia:

The "Creative Class" concept is controversial, as is (Richard) Florida's methodology. He breaks the Class into two broad sections, derived from standard SOC codes data sets:

* Creative Professionals: "Knowledge workers" and expanding to include financial planners, doctors and lawyers.
* Super-Creative Core: This comprises about twelve percent of all U.S. jobs. This group is deemed to contain a huge range of occupations (e.g. architecture, education, computer programming) with arts, design, and media workers making a small subset.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 9:52 pm | Edited by: indiepop
 
i learned something from the goner board today. thanks for posting that, eric, i was lumping arts professionals into the creative class incorrectly.

edit: wait it says arts. i misread that.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 10:06 pm | Edited by: Mark Rochambeaux
 
"Creative class" does not mean people who play in bands. It means people who make assloads of money choosing fonts for a living.

That term did not exist, so far as I know, when Memphis was a Jim Crow cotton town and Elvis was driving a truck.

the reason Elvis hit it big when he did was a) social/cultural upheaval, and b) a huge, thriving record industry. Without 'b', which will never exist again, forget about it.
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 11:00 pm
 
Most of the people in Memphis who make assloads of money choosing fonts for a living once did or currently do play in bands, make flyers for bands, or sleep with people in bands.
Posted: Aug 25, 2007 12:18 am
 
^^^ Since they're making assloads of money, they clearly need government incentives.
Posted: Aug 25, 2007 1:36 am
 
And this is why Richard Florida's BS is more about making himself money on a lecture/consulting circuit than helping any cities thrive. I lived in Portland through the last years of its "Just cool because it was" era to the beginning of its "Becoming so cool because everyone who could no longer afford Seattle, SF or Brooklyn decided upon a new comfy place to be" era. That transition (and the latter was no better than the former in the least) had nothing to do with what local government did for the arts. Period.

Just let your freak flag fly, Memphis. Sheeeeeeet.
Posted: Aug 25, 2007 5:06 pm
 
FedEx makes assloads of money and they get government incentives. The worst professional basketball team in the western hemisphere makes plenty of money and they get government incentives. Why do are you so uptight about a little arts money going to the artists who put food on your plate?

(and no, the folks who "choose fonts for a living" don't actually make assloads of money.)
Posted: Aug 25, 2007 5:43 pm
 
Uh.....HELLO?

I believe Pepe has the glass enclosue all ready for your "king". Please have the Memphis Muffins (or whatever you call it ,...mafiosodum?) Bring him over to the Cook Convention Center where we will have the viewing area set up very shortly.

Pepe & I will have your hippie / artist concentration camp in the oven and cooking ASAP!

Don't forget,

BUY MY PERFUME!
Posted: Aug 25, 2007 8:41 pm
 
the artists who put food on your plate?

??????????????????????????
Posted: Aug 25, 2007 8:46 pm | Edited by: Mark Rochambeaux
 
worst professional basketball team in the western hemisphere makes plenty of money

And no they don't. They lose about $40 million a year.

And remind me which artists "put food on my plate." The ones who work in restaurants?
Posted: Aug 26, 2007 12:14 am
 
And remind me which artists "put food on my plate." The ones who work in restaurants?

Check me if I'm wrong, but I think col bat was talking to Joel. Joel, being a sound engineer, makes money running sound for bands.

As for the whole "creative class" deal, saispas is right in that its major component is bullshit, and it's designed for a economist to make money touring the lecture circuit. My comment was only made because drawing the "creative class" to a town is not luring rock guitarists, painters, perfomance artists etc. to a town. If it was, then granted, the government would have no vested interest in it. It's more about drawing systems analysts, architects, people who can design things like efficient public transportation systems, teachers etc. Also, the "knowledge based" workers mentioned in the description are what my parents' generation would have called "idea men". The theory is, a vibrant art scene draws these people to a city. So, say some firm wants to relocate to Memphis and they want to have the best and brightest idea men/women, how do they get them here? As opposed to Chicago? Or Austin? The theory posits that an art scene helps. The "creative class" are the people that gentrify neighborhoods, pump money into the local economy and pay a boatload of taxes. That's why the government would, in theory, want them here. As saispas also stated, this often prices things like housing out of reach for a lot of people the "creative class" wants or needs. Service workers, nannies and yes, artists. Anyway, the theory is mostly crap, but if people are going to bandy about terms like "creative class", they ought to at least know what it means and why the government might have an interest. And yes, people that pick the right font for a living would be in the "creative class". They probably would make up about .0005%. Artists? Well, if you're talking about people who play in the symphony, yes those people, too. People who play in your local clubs are not really part of the "creative class" according to this theory, except via their day jobs.

Sorry about that. Back to the sniping.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 5:21 pm
 
long time reader first time poster (in this thread)...mega dittos!

if you want the politicians and government agencies to pay attention to you when you talk, you need to know them. and not mongo.

who running for city council/mayor/town drunk is on your (our) side? anyone? these are generally "jack asses" we don't care to know or pay attention to (meaning rich, white, polo wearing males with suburban driving soccer moms for wives).

its a machine. if you don't like the way the machine works, get involved and try to change it. if you are too cool or punk to get involved, stop bitching and vote for mongo.
Posted: Aug 28, 2007 10:01 pm
 
John3of4,

I think you did the best job so far of describing the "creative class" faux-nomenon. But it's still a load of nonsense, as most of us now agree. And it's completely useless vis a vis Memphis. The crime, corruption, racial tension and low educational attainment of this city will turn people off far more quickly than our music scene will attract people. And why is that in the 50s and 60s, when this city was much more rural -- and Jim Crow was in full effect -- Memphis could hatch a home-grown music scene that could take the world by storm?
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 2:42 pm
 
I think I made it clear that I think it's a load of nonsense. I just think people who are discussing nonsense should understand the nonsense so they can make an informed dismissal said nonsense. So, when people say shit like "Why do we need more guitar players?" or "The creative class gets paid a lot of money to pick fonts", it's obvious that either they don't understand or they're deliberately muddying the waters.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 2:45 pm
 
dismissal said nonsense

dismissal of said nonsense...sorry
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 3:05 pm
 
What do artists and support staff need (no point in one without the other)?
Paid Employment at industry standard rates, active unions with balls, equipment insurance (handled), enough work to support the entire community, stop clogging all big gigs in town through the Forum Funnel of Doom, a quality work force, BIG money from outside Mempho to come inside Mempho via the movie biz and ancillary services, more quality support services and for crying out loud, people who nothi g about the business to shut the fuck up about what to do and start listening and putting money in or GO AWAY.
Ya know, in Memphis, money should be spelled with a capitol "N"!
Yes, that spells "Noney" that's what we got.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 3:06 pm
 
Exactly what proposals did Rach get money for and what are they doing? Is Rach a musician or an artists or just another clever Memphian who's figured out a way to suck money out of the budget for nonsense?
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 3:31 pm
 
I don't think the creative class concept is total nonsense, but I do think that sometimes it's offered as a total panacea by its more ardent supporters when, in fact, it has to be one element of a larger plan. I do think economic development is a legitimate function of local government, but too often that means "writing checks to people who helped get me elected," when in fact it should mean "making it easier for all citizens to make a living doing what they're good at."
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 4:48 pm
 
I got money for a non-sanctioned daytime showcase during SXSW for 6 Memphis bands. Did it lead any of them to getting record deals or making a ton of money - probably not - but it did expose them to an event that they hadn't been able to get involved with on their own.

I've had many conversations with several people on the commission about what they believe their function is and they strongly believe in supporting events like these - just as they have made a commitment to be a sponsor of Gonerfest.

Several of them have even read this thread - I think I can confidently say that the consensus is that there are certainly a lot of people here blowing hot air about things they know little about.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 4:54 pm
 
I think I can confidently say that the consensus is that there are certainly a lot of people here blowing hot air about things they know little about.


like being a musician?
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 5:07 pm
 
I'm not gonna get baited into a silly argument. Several people have emailed me off the board and asked specific questions about ideas and we have had genuine productive conversations - thats the only reason I got involved in this thread.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 5:19 pm
 
Several of them have even read this thread - I think I can confidently say that the consensus is that there are certainly a lot of people here blowing hot air about things they know little about.

Rachel, I'm not trying to be funny or bait you about this or anything, but I would love even just a couple of examples of what you are talking about.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 5:23 pm
 
So wait. Is it the commission or you are convinced that musicians don't know what we want?

If they are reading, their silence speaks volumes. Unless you are their spokes person, official or unofficial.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 5:37 pm
 
The purpose was fact finding.
That's all. Nothing more...nothing less.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:14 pm | Edited by: Rachelandthecity
 
I would love even just a couple of examples of what you are talking about.

Basically - that if you really want to know whats going on - you would be going to the people who could really answer your questions -

I believe the next meeting is Wednesday the 5th at City Hall.

This is where you should be taking any and all of your concerns.

Re-read this thread - it's a lot of bitching but few plans of action - anyone can armchair quarterback - now what you need is a plan.

Is it the commission or you are convinced that musicians don't know what we want?

I'm sure you know what you want - but until you find a money tree or a some other mythical money maker - there are parameters. We can sit here and say - "but hey spend money on this and they spend money on that" - but again - thats just blowing hot air.

The people I have spoken with have voiced their commitment to funding projects that are feasible and within their means - this should be taken as GOOD news.

So come up with something - figure out how to make it work and make it happen.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:17 pm | Edited by: Rachelandthecity
 
If they are reading, their silence speaks volumes. Unless you are their spokes person, official or unofficial.


They are much smarter than I am and know that talking with someone in person is a much smarter way to handle this. Then they don't risk the juvenile attacks. Isn't it weird how much more polite people act to when they aren't shielded by the interweb? As far as I know - their doors are always open.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:20 pm
 
"Paid Employment at industry standard rates, active unions with balls, equipment insurance (handled), enough work to support the entire community, stop clogging all big gigs in town through the Forum Funnel of Doom, a quality work force, BIG money from outside Mempho to come inside Mempho via the movie biz and ancillary services, more quality support services and for crying out loud, people who nothi g about the business to shut the fuck up about what to do and start listening and putting money in or GO AWAY."

Dude, Nashville is right down the road. Take I-40 East, you can't miss it. They have a thriving arts scene that fits your description perfectly. By all means, join them.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:34 pm
 
Well, at this time, I don't have a need to talk to them personally. I don't think there's anything wrong with them or a member posting their mission statement or summarize what they are working on on here. I don't know; I haven't checked their myspace to see if it's all listed there. Golightly put a thread for a wish list. I wrote down what I want.

I might go to that thing on the 5th to check on my tax dollars. When exactly is it?
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:36 pm
 
It means people who make assloads of money choosing fonts for a living.

and on a totally different note - I think that Mark is more right than most people realize - in my experience with publications the people who make th layouts make way more than the people writing the content...
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:39 pm
 
I might go to that thing on the 5th to check on my tax dollars. When exactly is it?

I think it's at 1PM - I will check today and get back to you.

I don't have a need to talk to them personally. I don't think there's anything wrong with them or a member posting their mission statement or summarize what they are working on on here.

like I said - all I've posted here are some opinions and my experience and look where it usually gets me - god forbid someone doesn't say something in the right way. Of course, everyone knows how easy it is to get your point across on the interweb.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:43 pm
 
I think it's at 1PM - I will check today and get back to you.
Please do. If it's at one, then somebody take some meeting minutes and post them. I'll be at work. Like a lot of musicians I know.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:45 pm
 
As for clarity in the written word, I can understand a lot of things when it doesn't read like I'm being talked down to.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:46 pm
 
all I've posted here are some opinions and my experience and look where it usually gets me - god forbid someone doesn't say something in the right way. Of course, everyone knows how easy it is to get your point across on the interweb.

granted, i know nothing about you, and i maybe completely wrong, but isn't that your job?
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 6:52 pm
 
I might go to that thing on the 5th to check on my tax dollars. When exactly is it?

I think it's at 1PM - I will check today and get back to you.


It would be real neat of them to consider holding such meetings at a time when the majority of taxpayers would have an opportunity to go.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 7:11 pm
 
And another thing, I'm not sniping by saying that, either. All I've been able to gather about this new commission is "new" and "different". Not to be jaded, but how many times have we heard this before? What I want in a government branch is (gasp) "transparancy".
I'll tell you what; instead of being characterized as a "negative nellie", I'll offer a solution. If I can't make the meeting, somebody tape it. I'll convert it - free of charge - and even host it so people can listen to it whenever.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 7:14 pm
 
JS, check yer sonsabtchs email.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 7:17 pm
 
Will do, the moment I get back home.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 7:29 pm
 
Weird. Their myspace says:
"Very exciting news! Beginning next month, we will be meeting at the Benjamin Hooks Branch of the Memphis Public Library. Full Commission meetings will convene in Meeting Room A on the second Wednesday of every month at 1pm. We hope more of our music community constituents will be able to join us as a result of this new location...

We look forward to seeing you all on September 12."
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:05 pm
 
Sorry - I got it confused with the first Wednesday - and I hadn't heard about them moving venues.

I will be happy to record the meeting and I can convert it and post it.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:06 pm
 
granted, i know nothing about you, and i maybe completely wrong, but isn't that your job?

not really. nope.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:07 pm
 
Please do. If it's at one, then somebody take some meeting minutes and post them. I'll be at work. Like a lot of musicians I know.


i will actually even ask if there is any way to get these minutes posted on the interweb.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:08 pm
 
I will be happy to record the meeting and I can convert it and post it.



That would be very cool.
Thanks
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:35 pm
 
I will be happy to record the meeting and I can convert it and post it.



That would be very cool.
Thanks


Yes, thank you.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:47 pm
 
It means people who make assloads of money choosing fonts for a living.

and on a totally different note - I think that Mark is more right than most people realize - in my experience with publications the people who make th layouts make way more than the people writing the content...


We live in a visual society, Rachel. Graphics are the wave of the future (and present). Text will be dead in, oh I don't know, 3 or 4 generations. The internet will be nothing but pictures of cats and some guy's gaping butthole.

Where Mark was wrong was in his statement that "creative class" means graphic designers. Either he was joking or he was ignorant, but either way he was giving people who aren't familiar with the concept bad info, and that fucks things up when people are trying to argue a point.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:52 pm
 
We live in a visual society, Rachel. Graphics are the wave of the future (and present). Text will be dead in, oh I don't know, 3 or 4 generations. The internet will be nothing but pictures of cats and some guy's gaping butthole.

i just had a teacher telling me yesterday that was what everyone thought would happen, but that it turns out that people are much more interested in the info contained in the text. not sure where she got her info from but that was the smoke she was spewing.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:57 pm
 
Oh horsecrap. Of course a teacher is going to say that, words are her business. If she's spewing statistics, we all know how easy it is to lie with those. What do you think the common web surfer wants? "Oh here's an article on universal health care" or "Hey look! That cat looks like Wilford Brimley!"
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:03 pm
 
i spend more time on the goner board then most other things and i beleive it is 97% text
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:06 pm
 
I fucking love pictures of cats.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:09 pm
 
...and wilford brimley!
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:11 pm
 
It's true.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:17 pm
 
LOLUNIVERSALHEALTHCARE
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:19 pm
 
MEE-OW!
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:22 pm
 
i spend more time on the goner board then most other things and i beleive it is 97% text

I would venture, then, that you aren't common.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 9:55 pm
 
Rach, I think you did a good thing taking them to SXSW. There needs to be a sustained effort in that area and to way more than SXSW. There a buttload of "Indy Fests" out there to eat money, but, there are a few big ones deserving of the bucks because they have the power. SXSW is one. There are a few more in the USA. More than that, if we had a person specifically employed by the commission or foundation to do just that it would bring bucks here. You need 4 people at each event, one fulltime, the rest incentive based.
Also a seasoned "industry" sales pro would help commi$$ion based. Maybe the positions could be married like a " national head of promotion" title. Labels worth their salt pay people to do just that.
Really, all we need to do is look at what we want, where we "wish" we would be, fullscale, in ten years, and then design a plan backwards using successful templates as guidelines and not fall for the usual Memphis mode of failing to re-invent the wheel.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 10:29 pm
 
See Bruce? Would you rather read what Bubbah just posted or look at this?

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e247/newintruders/brimley.jpg

Brimley cat rests his case.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 10:31 pm
 
that looks just like him
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 11:12 pm
 
Rach, I think you did a good thing taking them to SXSW

Wow. I appreciate that.

I actually brought a total of about 25 people with me including bands and Memphis music supporters - I also had a professional photographer donate her time, Chris Swenson came down and stage managed and Brandon Thornberg donated his time to DJ the event.

Dean Deyo also attended SXSW. There was a huge official Stax Showcase that was the toast of the event. Jody Stephens goes every year to act as a certain type of Memphis Musical ambassador. Plus the Convention and Visitor's Bureau has a booth every year.

And you're hitting the nail on the head in terms of the commission knowing there are other events like these that they would like to have a presence at.

Every one of us that went to SXS donated our time and paid our own way. We weren't looking for a hand out - we were just looking for a little help.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 11:15 pm
 
Where Mark was wrong was in his statement that "creative class" means graphic designers.


well, I might not understand it correctly either then...
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 11:19 pm
 
I got money for a non-sanctioned daytime showcase during SXSW
Every one of us that went to SXS donated our time and paid our own way.

This doesn't quite jibe...
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 11:59 pm
 
Well - the venue cost 1000 dollars to rent.

and the Super 8 4 of us stayed in did cost us about 750 for 4 nights. And I paid 200 for a rental car and x amount for gas.

So, yeah, I guess we were living it up on government funds - wooooooooo!


Plus I paid for flyers, promotion, internet ads, and a bunch of other stuff.

We also had a benefit show where all the money was split up between the bands to help pay for gas - I think it was about 160 each.

Full disclosure.
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 4:22 am
 
Nice work.
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 4:47 am
 
OMG...I just re-invented the wheel.....IT'S IN MY PANTS!
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 4:50 pm | Edited by: taterhead
 
Here's a good resource to know who's running for city offices. The Coalition for a Better Memphis handed out questionnaires to all the candidates and ranked them based on certain criteria. The rankings are useless, IMHO. The answers provided, while full of shit, aren't in most cases. Some are pretty hilarious. (See the mediaverse link below). Link Use the Voter Guide links on the left to go to the various candidate questionnaires.

Sadly, not one question on music or arts. Seems like all the concern is crime, poverty, education and economic development.

Here's blogpost on the questionnaires. Link.

Also see Mediaverse's call for youtube debate. goners could put together one, no?
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 6:19 pm
 
hey john3, here's a good one http://www.dampcats.com/
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 6:46 pm
 
This is the greatest day of my life.
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:39 pm
 
here is the kinda support we need
http://www.tacobell.com/feedthebeat/
today is the last day to register though
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:49 pm
 
When I say "Free Fouthmeals" out loud, I want to say it with a lisp for some reason.
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:51 pm
 
it's okay jack, feel free to let your freak flag fly.
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:52 pm
 
I'm totally signing up, by the way.
Hey John3of4 and bruce, want to say we're doing a "New Intruders, Dranks, Staags" tour? We could just make up some dates and places, I suppose...
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:53 pm
 
Ith a requirement. And Thankth, bruth.
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:55 pm
 
i'm in if it's a bluegrath band
Posted: Aug 30, 2007 7:57 pm
 
thweet.
Posted: Sep 4, 2007 1:27 pm
 
Rachel, has anything come out of the SXSW participation yet?

Joel, I'm here and stuck here like you. I would go if I could go.

It has run amok here for sooo long, I don't know if it will ever work.
Posted: Sep 4, 2007 5:46 pm
 
I think a lot has come of it - but I'm not doing this argument anymore -

I'll record the meeting and post it for whoever wants to hear it.
Posted: Sep 4, 2007 6:17 pm
 
thanks, taterhead for posting the links to the candidates questionnaires.
Posted: Sep 4, 2007 11:32 pm
 
"I think a lot has come of it - but I'm not doing this argument anymore"

Look for this debating technique to resurface in a couple of weeks when W. tries to defend the Iraq war to Congress.
Posted: Sep 5, 2007 3:14 am
 
Well, why don'tyou ask the bands.

Anything I say will be discredited anyway.

As I mater of fact - I'm not even gonna bother with the whole recording idea.

I have been told time and time again by people that I am wasting my time dealing with people on this board and I guess they are right. You guys know everything already so why bother.
Posted: Sep 5, 2007 3:45 am
 
Offer still stands if anybody else wants to help out. Tape it, and I'll convert it and host it.
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 6:41 am
 
What can government do?

1. Tax breaks for building studios, rehearsal spaces, pressing plants, etc.

2. Make sure all City-owned or -controlled music venues (Coliseum, Shell, Mud Island, etc.) are completely renovated to current performance standards. We should consider building something else in the 2000 - 5000 seat range.

3. Fund programs teaching the technical side of the music biz, like engineers, sound crews, designing lighting rigs, etc.

4. Coercing private radio to play more Memphis music ain't gonna happen. So, how about funding live streaming of several different radio programs via the Web? Seems a natural for the Music Commission site.

5. Getting the CVB to pay for and provide promotional material on the Memphis music scene to send to other cities. Putting on a music fest specifically to promote a handful of Memphis groups. Paying for junkets to Memphis for music writers to come here to see them.

That's just off the top of my head.
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 2:53 pm
 
Paying for junkets to Memphis for music writers to come here to see them.

didn't they just do this? but it seems that local writers were not allowed to participate, so who was it leading this junket?
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 3:34 pm
 

4. Coercing private radio to play more Memphis music ain't gonna happen. So, how about funding live streaming of several different radio programs via the Web? Seems a natural for the Music Commission site.
I don't know what WEVL's attitude toward city funding is, but maybe the music commission could underwrite the station's Web stream on the condition that they expand their local music shows. I always thought it would be great to have a regular, drive-time show on WEVL with live Memphis music to kick off Friday night.
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 3:50 pm
 
4. Coercing private radio to play more Memphis music ain't gonna happen. So, how about funding live streaming of several different radio programs via the Web? Seems a natural for the Music Commission site.I don't know what WEVL's attitude toward city funding is, but maybe the music commission could underwrite the station's Web stream on the condition that they expand their local music shows. I always thought it would be great to have a regular, drive-time show on WEVL with live Memphis music to kick off Friday night.

Why can't local venues sponsor this? I can see this being a natural extension of the Hitone/YAD/Blue Monkey marketing plan. Biggest issue with WEVL would be unseating someone volunteering at a drive time slot. Right now they have recorded shows by Ben Vaughn 6-7. New Orleans Big Beat has been 4-6 on Fridays forever now. That probably won't change.

Can you imagine the bullshit WEVL would have to deal with if a quasi-government agency was funding them? Plus, Memphis music to the quasi-governemtn agency generally doesn't equal what we want played. Mustang Sally, anyone?
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 5:09 pm
 
Sure. Maybe they could. But the topic of the thread is suggestions as to what local government can do.

And wouldn't sponsorship of a program designed to promote certain venues conflict with WEVL's mission? I'm not trying to argue, I'm honestly asking for someone more knowledgeable about WEVL's internal workings than I. I have heard scuttlebutt to the effect that the powers-that-be at the station are not inclined to accept government money for fear of the bullshit you pointed out. But that's just scuttlebutt (and pretty old scuttlebutt at that), not fact. And you are right that they have a fine Friday drive-time lineup as it is. The Memphis Beat show is on Tuesday afternoon. I have always thought it should get a better time slot.

Plus, Memphis music to the quasi-governemtn agency generally doesn't equal what we want played. Mustang Sally, anyone?

Maybe. I think that's part of the current problem: too much emphasis on the past and not enough on the present and future. But any theoretical weekly live show would have to include more than just Midtown rock.
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 7:51 pm
 
i agree on everything you posted, CBG--especially on the drive time shows at WEVL. Didn't mean to derail the govt angle.
Posted: Sep 7, 2007 11:29 pm
 
I didn't know about any recent press junkets to Memphis, nor that local writers were closed out. That's wrong, as it's all about building relationships and connections with folks outside the city.

And forget WEVL. The original question was about government action. Funding the Music Commission to add multiple live webstreams of Memphis music (shows for blues, rap, alt-rock, classic rockabilly and early rock and roll, etc.) on their website, and then promoting it like crazy, is one idea that's pretty doable right now.

And like others mentioned above, tax breaks is another.
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 6:35 am
 
How's about making it a law that all shows have to start by 8 PM, so that people with family and those lucrative day jobs can get out and see music and still have time to sleep off the effects of any the booze they just might imbibe.

Even better, make a law that says people with day jobs have to take a nap when they get home, so they'll be less cranky about seeing shows at Midnight.
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 4:57 pm
 
If some venue would start doing early shows and all-ages shows, I think it could be a money maker for them and the bands.
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 5:45 pm
 
I know it's not a govt responsibility but the ideas about earlier shows is huge.
The MAIN reason I don't see more bands is the time slots...I work a day job and I get up at 5am which pretty much rules me out of midnight shows during the week...that leaves Saturday night only....which if I'm gigging, it's usually on that night.
There are so many bands I'm dying to see but if you're STARTING at 11 or 12, I ain't coming.....5am is a bitch when you're 52.
That's why Cooper Young fest is gonna be a banner day for me....
I get to see Noise Choir, Hi Electric, Ron Franklin, Antenna Shoes and Vending Machine in one fell swoop.
Back in the day, we started at 9:30 or 10...and had to walk uphill both ways with our equipment strapped to our backs barefooted in the snow.
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 6:24 pm
 
Sam Phillips Center

Thats all I am gonna say.
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 6:26 pm
 
Que?
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 9:20 pm
 
I'll second or third that "start at 8" show idea. There are tons of bands I'd like to see if I didn't have to commit to staying up to 1 or 2 AM (and then winding down another couple of hours afterward).

Can't understand why someone hasn't run with this yet. It taps a market not being served that wants it. The club's already open and it's usually slower then; more, new customers spending more, new money. It seems so obvious.
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 9:40 pm
 
The "supper club" of our times
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 12:14 am
 
Early shows just don't work. You can can play at 8pm to the bartender, or you can wait until people show up; which is usually post 11 pm.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 12:35 am
 
I can guarantee you that I'd show up for early shows. As it is...old, have to be up at six, usually have had enough to drink by 11, or 10, or 9.
A lot of us old farts still want to come see shows. But, I gotta tell you, hanging at the HiTone until the wee hours justabout killed me. Same for the Buc.

Maybe this is something that the HiTone could consider now that they have changed hands, and are trying to provide a more restaurant like atmosphere.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 12:37 am
 
Yea, but for every one of you, there's ten more who won't come until it's eleven.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 12:38 am
 
Oh, and believe me, I work a day job and would prefer to not have to play or see bands that late.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 1:08 am
 
[url=http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/business/article/0,1426,MCA_4 40_5568073,00.html]"The plan also calls for executing the Memphis Music Industry Strategic Plan, which includes bringing national and international music events to Memphis, recruiting new artists and labels, and establishing the Sam Phillips Center for Independent Music, a planned resource center for local musicians and others in the industry.

The five-year plan calls for $4.4 million to make the Sam Phillips Center a reality, including almost $1 million in the first year."[/url]
-Memphis Commercial Appeal

Behold, the Memphis Area Economic Development Plan. Scroll down to Goal C. Strategy 9 and you will discover that the Sam Phillips Center for Independent Music will not only include the "Musicians Resource Center", but also bring international music meetings to town, recruit major and independent labels, anchor a Downtown "Music Industry Center", and launch music-related television and internet programming to promote Memphis music to national and international audiences.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 1:25 am
 
the Sam Phillips Center for Independent Music

Now THAT my friends should be in the Pyramid.
Business offices, rehearsal rooms,staging areas,classes taught by people who've been there....sound,lights, film and video courses.

They wanna sign the the most prominent point in our skyline over to a hillbilly outdoors joint ...I say get the Fed Ex's and Northwests and the International Papers to pony up to improve the "quality of life" they talk so much about in trying to recruit the best and brightest to work for them...

You could get the bigger acts to come and stage their tours here while giving students a hands on course taught by the people that live it.

I wanna sign up for the Jim Dickinson class even though he would probably think it's the worse idea ever.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 3:38 am
 
Early shows just don't work. You can can play at 8pm to the bartender, or you can wait until people show up; which is usually post 11 pm.

Exactly. I've always worked nights, so I've preferred later shows, but it's true.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 3:42 am | Edited by: Mark Rochambeaux
 
You can build 10, 15, 20 Sam Phillips centers -- maybe even a Chips Moman center or two, a Rick Dees center, a George Klein center and a Wink Martindale center -- and it won't do a damn bit of good without having a Sony building, a Warner Bros. building and ever other building that Nashville has that we never will.

Let's repeat for the slow class: Memphis has all the content, all the talent, all the bands it needs. It simply does not have a market to make that stuff lucrative, and it dosn't have the industry infrastructure like Nashville, NY, LA, Miami. So make the best of what we DO have, keep tending bar to pay the bills, and make music for the hell of it. If you want to make $1,000 a day playing music, you are in the wrong town.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 2:24 pm
 
Mark...if you start with a LEARNING place, a TEACHING place,a place to EXPERIMENT, maybe a fifth grader on a field trip will become the next Sam Phillips....meanwhile you have a center that could generate money as well as employ and school the locals in broadening their horizons.

NOBODY here said anything about making a thousand dollars a day making music.
For God's sake I hope we NEVER become a NY, LA, or Miami.
Posted: Sep 9, 2007 6:50 pm
 
So are you opposed to trying to create a market, Mark?
Posted: Sep 10, 2007 3:54 pm
 
The early shows are king here in NYC. We absolutely fucking love em. Shows here start at 9pm. 3 bands later and your home by midnight. I'm old so it's really great. I highly recomend it. People got things to do. Maybe on the weekends start a little late, but I also get bored very easily.
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 6:46 pm
 
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 6:51 pm
 
House of Blues Studio D

Goddammit I love that place. It's the kind of studio layout I hope to someday have of my own for Rocket Science.
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 6:52 pm
 
Also, Conner Sewer went to the meeting yeasterday and brought back all kinds of stuff that hopefully we can look at tonight.
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 7:11 pm
 
Also, Conner Sewer went to the meeting yeasterday and brought back all kinds of stuff that hopefully we can look at tonight.

I was wondering about this.
Could you share that information here?
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 7:14 pm
 
Yep. We may see you tonight, too.
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 8:15 pm
 
'Preciate that, by the way, taterhead.
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 8:46 pm
 
Wow! That article sounds good. I'm thinkin subsidys and tax breaks for Jack & Kyle's studio ! Totally!
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 8:54 pm
 
Well, I for one am not encouraged by that article. Sutton comes off a hell of a lot better than Deyo, though. Some choice quotes:

When asked how he'd do things differently from former commission president Rey Flemings whose self-interested leadership coupled with the organization's inertia during his tenure symbolize the commission's failures in the public mind Sutton says, "I've already been validated."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Sutton. The question was not about how you feel about yourself. The question was 'What will you do differently to turn around a failing organization?' "

Rather than aiming for a one-time big splash like the MTV awards, Sutton defines the role of the new music commission as empowering artists through high-level industry connections.

High-level industry connections? In the industry whose business model is going the way of the buggy whip? The current business model is doomed, but that doesn't mean there won't be a music business in twenty years, only that they will have a new business model. Supporting people who have the potential to come up with new ideas would be a much better use of the limited funds available.

In other words, supporting small business is more important than attracting large business.

They've used money from the unused executive director's salary to subsidize local events like Goner Fest and organizations such as the Center for Southern Folklore.

Excellent. How about not hiring another executive director so we can continue to use the money for important things.

Memphis Tomorrow formed committees within its membership, focusing on each of the target industries. Phil Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, for example, chairs the music-industry development committee.

If there's one thing airline executives know, it's the music industry.

Contrast this statement:

Finally, Sutton stresses visibility and accountability for the commission in the local music community.

With this statement:

Deyo says his group can function more effectively without having its books open, like the music commission must do as a public entity.

"If you're a public body, everything you do can be discussed in public," Deyo says. "You have to give information to anyone anytime they want it."


God forbid we know how you're using your money to "help us". This is called the "Networx Model of Public/Private Partnership". He took control of the fundraising arm of the music commission and then split it from the main organization so no one can see what he does with the money. What could possibly go wrong?

Deyo has entered negotiations to bring an independent recording studio to Memphis.

Golly, those out-of-towners can sure help us out! I sure do wish we had some of them independent recording studios of our own. Don't you, Jack Stands?

Once again, this is the problem. The goal should not be attracting out-of-towners. The goal should be helping Memphians do for themselves. We don't need another recording studio, we need to help the studios we have flourish and to find a good way to get the music recorded there out to a larger audience.

A proposed Sam Phillips Independent Music Center hung its fate on a network of music-industry service "providers" who would donate their time to the center and assist Memphis music professionals. No such providers were identified in the plan, and their recruitment doesn't seem to have been accounted for

Um Hm. Sam Phillips Center. That's all I'm going to say.

...a Memphis counterpart to the pioneering live-music TV program Austin City Limits.

That's actually a good idea, if only they would use local talent to produce it and not get an out-of-towner.

A Memphis "Grand Ole Opry"-style venue, featuring perfect acoustics and state-of-the-art technical infrastructure, located at the corner of Beale and Third, obviously failed to materialize. The plan called for "sponsorships from major electronics manufacturers," not otherwise identified, to fund the venue.

The Gibson Lounge actually fits that bill pretty good. They've got a lot of expensive equipment, but it seems like every time I go there they've got sound problems.

The strategic plan's priority schedule rated developing the now-defunct music commission Web site a 10, for highest priority. Likewise, a "global concert event," a Memphis Music Conference, and something called the "digital distribution initiative" were given top-priority ratings without ever materializing.

Live from Memphis already provides those services. With a little support, they could expand to cover the whole city. If that is indeed their highest priority, and their attempt at creating a Web site failed, why not help support the people who have proven they actually can run a Web site?

So the claim that we lack infrastructure is suspect. We've got infrastructure. We lack capital, and what little city and county help is made available is promptly squandered on nest-feathering.

And since I can't look at a dead horse without wanting to beat the hell out of it, check out this item from the Commercial Appeal:

Memphis Arts Council spends six figures to decide they need to change their name. This is the same arts council...excuse me, ArtMemphis...that has repeatedly turned down requests from Live from Memphis for support.

Roan conducted in-depth interviews with 48 arts and community leaders and found that many perceived a lack of openness within the organization.

"I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard that," said Schadt.

Another perception was that money is just being funneled into elite cultural activities with no real benefit to the city.

"People think that the arts council is raising money to support ballet dancers, but really it's about supporting and nurturing the creative class," Roan said. "The one deal breaker when companies move to new cities is if the city doesn't have any culture. People have to know that supporting the arts is also about attracting business to Memphis."


uh huh... And how do you do that?

Its Web site, now mainly a catalog of event listings, is being developed into a citywide promotional tool for the arts. Someday, patrons may be able to buy tickets for local performances online.

Hmmm...
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 9:41 pm
 
Once again, this is the problem. The goal should not be attracting out-of-towners. The goal should be helping Memphians do for themselves. We don't need another recording studio, we need to help the studios we have flourish and to find a good way to get the music recorded there out to a larger audience.

Damn col...I love you...in a manly way of course.
Nail on the head
Posted: Oct 1, 2007 4:29 am
 
invest in a time machine and send the whole city back 40 years, and prevent the assassination of Martin Luther King, and while yer at it, maybe Robert F Kennedy?

hmmm
Top
Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message
 

 
Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.

 
  Goner Message Board Powered by PHP Forum Software miniBB ®